I’d like to welcome Colvin to our family, and introduce him to everyone.
He is a 5 month old Border Collie mix. As you may notice, in spite of being a fashion disaster with the white polka dot socks paired with his tuxedo styled coat, he is a handsome young man with a fierce look of determination. Sporting a well groomed brown beard and eyebrows, he is just a bow tie away from any formal occasion that he should be invited to.
I’ve been hit with some negative feedback on his name, so I thought I would also give a little info on his namesake and why it was chosen.
Some people choose typical pet names, others random people names, some objects or places. Other people have a continuous revolving door of oft castaway companions, therefore never spending any time coming up with a name worthy of a long term member of the family. We have a history of naming our animals after wild places, or gateways to those places. Caney after the Caney Creek Wilderness in Arkansas; Ande after the Andes Mountains in South America; and Jasper after Jasper, Arkansas, located in the Ozark National Forest, home of the Buffalo National River –America’s first national river!
Colvin is a mountain in the
Verplanck Colvin, native of
"Unless the region be preserved essentially in its present wilderness condition, the ruthless burning and destruction of the forest will slowly, year after year, creep onward… and vast areas of naked rock, arid sand, and gravel will alone remain to receive the bounty of the clouds and be unable to retain it." –Verplanck Colvin
Colvin was president of the department of physical science at the Albany Institute, and held various presidencies including that of the New York State Mine and Engineers Association, and he was the first president of the Adirondack Guides' Association.
In spite of being a highly educated man, Colvin chose not to talk down to the woodsmen, rather he chose to elevate them to their rightful stature in his address to them:
“…Then you, who have learned to love, to venerate the gift of the mountains and forest and lakes, will retain the benefits of your labors and those of your ancestors. You will preserve the forest of New York state to a race loftier than that of the Scotish Highlands, more fortunate in your advantages in life and knowledge, with all the possibilities of the intellectual development of our race and the freedom which only belongs to Americans; that great heritage will be secured by constant battle.” –Verplanck Colvin
Verplanck Colvin’s greatest accomplishment is largely unknown to the visitors of the
“The Lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by a corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.” -Article 14,
Constitution New York State
The more widely known congressional Wilderness Act -of 1964- is very closely modeled after the “Forever Wild” clause of Article 14 of the New York State Constitution. Article 14, ratified in 1894, made the Adirondacks America’s first and most heavily protected wilderness. In fact, the best I can discern, the New York State Forest Preserve is the only constitutionally protected wilderness in the
By ratifying Article 14 in 1894 and again in 1938, the people of the state of
Verplanck Colvin was chiefly responsible for the creation of the Forest Preserve, Article 14’s “Forever Wild”, and later “Adirondack Park” because of his 20 years of visionary dedication to the permanent protection of the Adirondacks. There is no doubt that without Colvin’s determination to complete the Adirondack Land Survey, his impassioned knowledge of the natural world, combined with his ability to eloquently explain it in his writing and art; the Adirondacks,
“..the Adirondack Preserve has been a good thing. It has been a model for the federal government and other states. It has given a tone to recreation, and esthetic and spiritual satisfaction to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions. Whatever lies ahead, I shall be grateful to the
Adirondack mountains, lakes and streams.” -Jim Marshall (brother of the famed mountaineer and conservationist Bob Marshall; son of Louis Marshall whom was instrumental in helping create the SUNY-ESF college for forestry)
And so will Colvin Harrison as we spend many years tramping together through those very same mountains and flowing down those very same streams, knowing the Adirondacks will be the one constant we have; ”Forever Wild”!
(two images above are taken 130 years apart on Hurricane Mountain from virtually the same location, not a lot has changed)
For more on Verplanck Colvin:
Nationally published articles and illustrations in Harpers Magazine (fee to view via Harpers)